The J.J. Nakai Era is complete. Shauna Bribiescas is no longer controlling the paint.
It is an adjustment year for 13-year coach Todd Holthaus, who welcomes 13 freshmen along with four returning sophomores. Symbolic of the respect his program has earned, the Aztecs are ranked No. 3 nationally despite the substantial loss of Nakai, who is now at Nevada, and Bribiescas, who is continuing her career at Hawaii-Hilo.
Look for guard Alyssa Perez of Marana to establish her own identity along with fellow sophomore Hallie Lawson, a forward, to strengthen her inside-outside skills for the Aztecs.
The Aztecs, who went 24-12 overall, are coming off a fifth-place finish at last year’s NJCAA Division II National Tournament. In addition to Perez and Lawson, Holthaus welcomes back 3-point shooting guard Haile Gleason and power forward Marlena Arroyo-Plata.
OPENER!!!! (3) Aztecs women’s basketball opens the 2019-20 season TONIGHT against Park University JV at the West Campus Aztec Gym at 6 pm. See the live stream on AztecsLive with Sean Scott on the call. Tyra Do/Photo by Stephanie Van Latum. #PimaBasketballhttps://t.co/TbBCV54qD1 pic.twitter.com/f8fvjEufrw
— PimaAthletics (@PimaAthletics) November 2, 2019
The Aztecs open their season tonight at 6 p.m. against Park University JV on at the West Campus Aztec Gymnasium.
Holthaus and members of his team joined us for our weekly show at Wings Over Broadway to discuss the upcoming season. Here are the Facebook Live videos of those interviews:
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.